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Alessia Silvi
History of Art
3rd year
Artemisia Gentileschi's Venetian Paintings, Between the Querelle de Femmes and Melodrama Characters: an Intertextual Study
The Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi’s (1593-c. 1653) Venetian period, dating from c. 1627 to 1630, is the
least-known phase of the artist’s life, due to a lack of documentary evidence and the few works that may be
attributed with certainty to these years of her career. Recent research has allowed art historians (Garrard, 2020; Locker, 2021) to identify the reasons why the painter moved to Venice, the works she completed and the cultural milieu with which she engaged. Drawing from theories of intertextuality (Steiner, 1985), this article discusses how Artemisia’s paintings were impacted by the changes in women’s social status in early modern Venice, and considers the reciprocal influences between Artemisia’s works, the cultural debates on the relation between sexes, and her innovative representations of female protagonists. I argue that Artemisia played a central role in defining a new idea of femininity in her paintings. Her works emphasised the strength of women’s voices, contested the traditional association between luxury and female frivolity, and proposed new models of ‘exemplary’ heroines.
Eva Szilagyi-Nagy - Fentanyl.jpg
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